Billings TrailNet and the City of Billings were both CONDITIONALLY awarded $134,000 in trail development grants from the Recreational Trails Program in late March! The two projects include an extension of the Big Ditch Trail as far west as possible to connect to a new neighborhood; and an extension of the trail through Rose Park.

Comments on these projects can be emailed to or mailed to Stephanie Clemen, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, PO Box 200701, Helena, MT 59620-0701.

The extension of the Big Ditch Trail is up to be awarded $84,000. This project will extend the Big Ditch Trail as far to the west along the Big Ditch as possible before the ditch turns south toward Grand Avenue.

Many respondents to our recent survey asked for this extension and beyond:

We desperately need a bike path from 54th west to Shiloh Road on Grand Ave. There are now three schools on west Grand Ave., and it is very dangerous for bike travel let alone walking.  There is no shoulder.  A bike/walking trail is very important there,” explains one resident.

The City of Billings has received notice of conditional and partial grant funding from Montana Fish, Parks, and Wildlife in the amount of $50,000. The award must go through a public notice process at the state level prior to formal award. The City had applied for $100,000 in funding to help build a trail segment connecting the new Phase I trail (red) to the Rose Park trail system (yellow line indicates the portion to be built with this new award). Both phases of the Rose Park Trail will be built in 2025.

More About This Project
The Rose Park Trail as currently planned will:

  1. connect Rose Park Elementary School with neighborhoods – most notably the apartment complexes on and around Avenue C west of Rose Park.
  2. provide recreational walking, riding, rolling, and running for more than half a mile parallel to the BBWA Canal.
  3. allow residents north of the Canal to access Rose Park (via a pedestrian bridge) without needing to cross streets.
  4. provide residents and visitors with access to the northern section of Rose Park.

Billings struggles to find funding to build trails. These projects are not only important connections, these trails are mostly FREE to Billings, as Recreational Trails pays about 86% of the cost of the projects and Billings TrailNet has committed to paying $55,000 toward the Big Ditch extension and $33,000 for both phases of the Rose Park Trail.

Who else applies for RTP funds?

This year the program is recommending $1,519,659.98 in grant funds to 37 project around the state. See “List of Proposed Awards” for instructions on how to comment.

See the table of proposed awards and description of the projects on the FWP website here.



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